Latvia Capture Bronze In Brno


Latvia swept aside Greece 65-36 on Sunday to capture the bronze medal at the A.C.I. Trading Limited U20 European Championship Women in Brno.

Theoni Tzegiannaki (Greece)
Theoni Tzegiannaki
Playing less than 24 hours after their heartbreaking 55-53 semi-final defeat to Poland, the Baltic country were able to take some of the sting out of that setback by finishing the tournament in third place, and it was an 11-2 Latvia run late in the first quarter that served as the launchpad for victory.

The Greeks, who were destroyed in their semi by France, led Latvia 9-7 four and a half minutes into the game after a jump shot by Pelagia Papamichail but Laine Kurpniece answered with a jumper immediately to tie the contest.

Her team-mate, Elina Babkina, then scored and converted a three-point play for a 12-7 advantage.

Babkina turned provider, passing to Lasma Jakabsone who buried a jump shot.

And after a Greek timeout, Babkina split a pair of free throws to complete the 8-0 surge and give the Latvians a 15-9 advantage.

Theoni Tzegiannaki scored for Greece, only for Babkina to strike again to make it 17-11 and Kurpniece added a free throw to account for the 11-2 spurt.

Elina Babkina (Latvia)
Elina Babkina
The score was 18-15 after a made jump shot by Evgenia Kotoula with 6:41 to go in the first half, but Greece got no closer the rest of the way.

Latvia outscored Greece 13-2 up to half-time for a commanding 31-17 lead, and they cruised to victory.

Kurpniece led the winners with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Tzegiannaki had a team-high nine points for Greece.

Latvia had an awful day shooting free throws against Poland and they did not improve much in that respect, sinking just 16 of 28 against Greece. Perhaps the most telling statistic of this game was the rebounds, with the Latvians grabbing 43 to just 23 for their opponents.

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